The economic uncertainty that surrounds us due to the Pandemic has made many business owners in South Africa worried about their options. If you were thinking of selling your business before the lockdown or you have come to this conclusion during it, here are some tips and reassuring advice.
While you may be nervous about selling right now, there is hope that you could find yourself in an ideal market where potential buyers are looking for great opportunities.
No matter what, you need to remain patient during this time. If you are able, avoid being reactive. Take your time and make sure that you are valuing your business correctly and preparing for the sale. This will put you in a better position to be attractive to buyers.
It can be valuable to get advice from professionals especially if you are uncertain about anything. Confirm, however, that you are getting realistic advice. Be wary of any agent that is too optimistic. You need to value your business carefully as buyers will be careful about paying too much.
Selling a business is something that takes time, even during these unprecedented times. Find the right buyer, due diligence and negotiations need to be carefully considered to avoid a bad deal.
Base your value on the financial history of your business and make these figures available to serious buyers. Despite difficult times or markets, your business will be able to sell if you price it fairly and handle the sale carefully.
Focus on the attractive and unique qualities of your business. If you have built a good reputation and loyal customer base, don’t be scared off the idea of selling your business. Buyers with the available capital will be on the hunt for a solid investment.
Listing your business online will give you access to a wide range of potential buyers and give you the opportunity to connect with the right one for you.
Have a strategy
The earlier you start to plan, the better the sale will go. For this reason, attempt to have an exit strategy in place from the early days of your business. This means running your business so that you are always in the best possible position to sell.
Of course, you will have to react to the global economic circumstances. Get your costs down where possible and make sure you are cost effective for your customers. You will also need to offer reassurance to your customers that you have their safety in mind.
Offering a service that is priced right and gives value will keep your business relevant, even during uncertain times. The better you perform the greater value you will have to potential buyers.
It can be challenging for SMEs in South Africa to reach new audiences- especially in the time of lockdown. Make use of technologies where possible like using VPNs to have your employees safely work from home. Demonstrating to buyers that your business can adapt will make your business a more attractive option.
By Bruce Hakutizwi, USA and International Accounts Manager for BusinessesForSale.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses. Bruce has over 7 years’ experience working within the US business transfer marketplace connecting buyers and sellers.